AMA recap: August 10, 2018

All the questions and answers from our recent AMA covering the DADI network, Founding Node Lottery and DADI Store

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🔗Question 1

Am I correct in saying that you pay by the amount of visits or requests to the site? How would you provide protection against a weak DDOS attack that might not actually cause any issues but will register as many requests?

Joseph Denne:
For CDN we charge based on the number of requests to the service, aggregated to the nearest million. So, for example a webpage with five images on it would result in five requests. The network also pays out on the basis of requests handled by a node (factoring some items in the mix as well, such as uptime and POS).

DDOS mitigation is handled via a consensus protocol at Stargate level. Stargates look at all requests and monitor them for unexpected behaviour. Where an attack is identified the requests are blocked at DNS level, protecting the network. We also have DDOS scrubbing in place through our network partners. This provides automatic traffic routing to a scrubbing centre in the event that a specific network subset is flooded.

🔗Question 2

Can you please elaborate on how DADI Store compares to SIA, STORJ and other decentralized storage solutions?

James Lambie:
We’ve designed Store as a solution for the DADI Network. It can be used as the storage layer for other DADI dApps, or as a standalone service. SIA provides a general purpose storage marketplace, whereby contracts are agreed between individual storage partners and those wanting to store data. We are fans of this approach, but it’s a very different proposition to on-demand storage for digital products.

I don’t know much about STORJ, but from what I’ve seen there’s not much focus given to user experience. Have a look at https://docs.storj.io/docs/storj-share-gui and you’ll get an idea of where it’s at. Anyway - bottom line is that we’re focused on 1) a solution that meets the needs of digital products within the DADI Network, and 2) a great user experience.

🔗Question 3

I know the DADI team has worked for 4 or 5 years on the tech and spent quite a bit of their own money on R&D including a couple years on the blockchain application. Can you describe the evolution of the tech over the past five years? Why you started working on it? What was the initial problem you were looking to solve? How it led you to current state? Basically, the story behind the technology so far please.

Joseph Denne:
This is a big question! My fellow founders and I started DADI to address a problem that we saw in the technology sector: that the only options available to content owners for building digital projects were either what I describe as legacy monolith systems (large ‘one size fits all’ content management systems), or building a custom platform from the ground up (and having to reinvent the wheel with every iteration).

DADI was conceived as a technology stack built around the concept of microservices, and available Open Source or as a SaaS proposition, hosted in an alternative type of network. The first few years of the business were focused on the architecting of the underlying services, starting with what we see as the central building block of any digital project, the API. Along the way we picked up a number of enterprise customers through word of mouth and existing relationships, which allowed us the opportunity to create a real-world feedback loop whereby we built the future direction of the product hand in hand with our key stakeholders. This has meant that the technology has benefited from being built with real traffic and real digital products. This sets us apart as most technologies are built in a closed room with the practical application too often an afterthought.

We begin building our network a little over two years ago, initially as a small group fleshing out the architecture of the network before moving to alpha development work and eventually drawing back the curtains just ahead of our crowdsale. The history and weight of work undertaken in our privately funded R&D phase is why we’ve been able to move so quickly since our crowdsale. Where most companies raise capital and then start development, getting to well over a year+ down the line, we’ve taken our network to live in five months.

I should note that our funding was put up exclusively by the founders - we received no outside funds until the crowdsale. Of course, there’s a lot more to do, and we’re very excited by our roadmap over the next 18 months (and I think you’re going to love it too 🙂).

🔗Question 4

Aside from the cool world map showing current network usage, will there be additional screens showing network usage statistics per day/week/month? If yes, when? As a token holder I would like the transparency to see in what direction we are heading.

Joshua Overbye:
Absolutely. The network simulation on the homepage is simply because we are very early in the host onboarding phases – as we move through the process we’ll make more data publicly available. We definitely want to be transparent about this (although maybe not always on the homepage as we may reserve this for content that better helps market our products), it works in our favour too. 🙂

🔗Question 5

Can you create and publish some kind of overview of how all DADI services fit together and how to build a site with them? Maybe also show the difference compared to how you traditionally build with non-centralized tech, including stuff such as relational databases, object relational mappers, transaction scopes (incl 2-phase commits), traditional backend services/layers.

James Lambie:
Yes, that’s a great idea. We do have a tutorial for building a complete solution with the stack but we’ll perhaps get into some finer detail about what’s happening under the hood in a future post. In short though, it’s pretty easy! The concept is perhaps the largest thing to get your head around: rather than building in a single system, you need to think of your site as different layers - the data layer and the templating layer for example.

This abstraction then maps back to our individual dApps, in this example to DADI API (for data) and to DADI Web (for templates). Then it’s simply a case of jumping in - spinning up an API and creating a data structure takes minutes, and from there you begin templating in exactly the same way as you would for any other system. The tutorial I mentioned above is at https://dadi.cloud/en/tutorials/web-services/create-a-photo-gallery-website-with-dadi/

🔗Question 6

How far have you come with the dashboards for customers and miners/hosts? What techniques are you using when building this? What is built using DADI decentralized services and what else are you using?

Joshua Overbye:
We’ve come a long way with the dashboards for Nodes! I’m pretty excited to start to show you the work. Our account dashboards - the very first version of which we’ll be releasing after the AMA today! - will act as an account overview for communicating important information at-a-glance.

The dashboards in their first iteration exist to facilitate initial users accounts and over time will evolve as we release more features and new dApps come online.

We are currently finessing the final interface elements for how users will onboard, interact and monitor the founding nodes to their account. This coincides with the production of our interface toolkit, providing a unified experience for tools and services on the DADI network.

The process used to deliver these design decisions follow customer, community and user research, as well as expert opinion. +We have a test team in house who I work with on the day to day.

Everything we build is built with DADI.

🔗Question 7

DADI Store is about to go live in Q3. What use cases are there for using Store when building a site? Can the site itself be stored here (if not where is it actually stored) or only some resources? What other use cases are there?

James Lambie:
There are a lot of use cases! Yes, you could store a flat HTML site in DADI Store, and serve it to the world using DADI CDN. Some other examples: You can use it as the data store for DADI API. You can use it for storing images for use in DADI CDN. You can use it to store your cat photo library. You can use it to share files with your friends. You can use it to back up your laptop. You may even use it to store documents and have them sync across devices.

🔗Question 8

Will there be apps for DADI Store for cell phones (iphone, android) and computers (windows, mac) so one can use it to share normal files/photos across all devices? i.e. something similar to OneDrive or DropBox? If so, is this also planned for Q3?

Joseph Denne:
Yes, there will be in time, but this won’t happen until next year. And yes, anyone will be able to build with Store because the API will be available.

Follow up question: Is DADI Store depending on DADI public network nodes or you are providing your private servers for it?

Joseph Denne:
That depends on the usage type. We’ll release more info on this front in the coming weeks and months.

🔗Question 9

How far in development is the DADI wallet? Can we see any update sneak previews or features? Will it be released to initial node contributors first?

Joshua Overbye:
The concept of a stand-alone wallet was merged in to account pages for the management of POS, Nodes and customer side dApp usage some time ago now. Why? As we’re remaining ERC-20, there’s no requirement for a bespoke wallet.

Joseph Denne:
To be clear, by bespoke wallet we mean dedicated wallet, in the guise of an Exodus for example.

🔗Question 10

How are bursts of load against the network going to be handled? Is there extra network power available from some datacenter that can be purchased upon need?

James Lambie:
We have owned capacity in the form of the network backbone. This is a series of very high capacity nodes distributed globally that do the job of ensuring that we have the capacity needed to meet customer demand in the early stages of the network’s life. As we scale out nodes we expect the dependency on the backbone will drop away.

Follow up question: Let’s say customer runs a super bowl or world cup ad and the site is flooded. How does network accept burst of traffic?

Joseph Denne:
There are limits in place relating to pricing tiers that act to compel extremely high - edge - use cases such as that to reach out to us first, as they would to any provider. In that sort of scenario, we would work with the customer to ensure capacity in the right geo/topographical areas. We’ve done this sort of thing a lot in the past - handling broadcast tx load for events like the Olympics, as well as popular TV shows, which typically see millions of users hitting a property in the space of minutes.

🔗Question 11

The overall competitive advantages of DADI have been discussed but I wonder if each discrete service’s advantages could be broken down if they go beyond cheaper and faster (though those are compelling in their own right) – especially the ones coming to market soonest i.e CDN, STORE and WEB.

Joseph Denne:
Much of this information can already be found at relevant pages for CDN, Web, API and Publish at dadi.cloud(see https://dadi.cloud/en/marketplace/ ). We’ll be adding information for upcoming products in due course (Store will be first).

🔗Question 12

Has the amount for increasing your stake beyond the baseline for each node type been established? If so, what are the limits?

James Lambie:
We are working on the basis of +20%.

🔗Question 13

Is DADI part of/talked to/planning to join an alliance with ISPs/broadband (infrastructure) providers? (CityFibre, Deutsche Glasfaser, Open Fiber, Reykjavikur, SIRO) As far as I can see DADI’s (nodes) success also relies on their infrastructure.

Joseph Denne:
Yes, we’re in active discussions on this front. But I can’t say any more at this stage I’m afraid.

🔗Question 14

Is DADI Publish a product meant to be marketed towards end users (journalist, content marketers) or is it a product for developers/agencies to build and offer their own (white label) solutions on top of DADI Publish?

Paul Regan:
Both, really. The content management interfaces are being developed in consultation with editors and journalists with decades of combined experience writing for organisations ranging from BBC News to Empire magazine, so we expect them to be among the finest in terms of editorial workflow. We are also working with agencies and engineers who wish to use DADI technology to deliver client projects – if you’d like to know more about how to work with our technology, get in touch with an admin.

🔗Question 15

Is DADI Store just for files or will it be a general key-value database akin to AWS BigTable? If not, do you have plans for a dApp with features like BigTable?

Joseph Denne:
Store will be used as backing for DADI API, which puts one of its primary use cases in the same ballpark as BigTable (although it’s not the same thing by any measure). We have plans for big data, specifically around DADI Track, which we will be releasing much more detail on in time.

Follow up question:As most companies provide their limited free edition, do you have plans for providing DADI services like that?

Joseph Denne:
Yes

🔗Question 16

With DADI Store around the corner I assume the nodes will need more storage. What kind of storage will be used for this?

James Lambie:
The nodes will need storage to run the individual dApps as well as capacity for Store. We haven’t finished capacity testing, but imagine 50GB would be a good starting point.

🔗Question 17

Josh, how long have you been with DADI and what’s best thing about working there? What’s your philosophy regarding UI and how are you applying it to DADI?

Joshua Overbye:
I have been DADI with 6 months now. The most appealing part about being with DADI to me is being able to work with & collaborate on a daily basis with a team who possess a wealth of intellect and enthusiasm. I’m learning every day.

As a designer at DADI, what underlines my design process is always being able to rapidly execute and learn from prototypes and sketches. I believe in building progressive products & experiences that impact the future in a beneficial way. This means wanting to push the boundaries when appropriate and always looking for ways to stay ahead in how humans interact with digital products.

🔗Question 18

With regard to DADI Store, if data is split into fragments and then stored across various nodes, what happens if some of those nodes go offline?

Joseph Denne:
We have what we’re calling Dual+ redundancy built in to the platform, meaning in short that no one node holds a sole copy of a file.

Follow up question:Meaning all nodes, like blockchain work? It creates problems if websites data increases but nodes remaining limited. Is there any backup solution for it?

Joseph Denne:
Not all nodes, no, as that would use up all capacity pretty much immediately. But the theory is very similar. Which is where the market economics of the platform come in to play. That in hand with our backbone means that this scenario should never come to pass.

🔗Follow up question:

Not all nodes. Then how can you deliver content everywhere so fast, like node near me do not contain websites data that I’m accessing but nodes far from me having?

Joseph Denne:
The architecture of the network works to ensure that. And the dApps are built with caching at pretty much every level.

###Question 19
Why don’t you use a private key for login on DADI website? It’s more secure and important since we will be storing our private data on DADI Store.

James Lambie:
2FA is enabled in our new dashboards, and you can turn it on in the security section of your account. We’ll be sharing details about this with you very shortly.

🔗Question 20

Is it possible as a customer to get a clean Docker image on the DADI network and use it however I want? For example, I have a website made in Django. Will I be able to run this on the DADI network?

Paul Regan:
No. The architecture of the network is tailored for performance, which means that it is not a general purpose solution in this guise.

Joseph Denne:
However, the DADI Marketplace will enable other technologies to be deployed to the network and then used by anyone. This means that in time there’s no reason why Wordpress couldn’t be deployed to the network (although why you’d want to use Wordpress is a discussion for another time!). We’re already working with partners like Agorai to push other technology in to the network via the Marketplace.

🔗Question 21

So just been looking at the DADI Store announcement. Very exciting. So, we can use it like Dropbox but can we use it in conjunction with DADI CDN to store web images on our own platforms? For example: I’m running an e-commerce site on a Digital Ocean Ubuntu instance. Could I in theory create a CMS that pushes uploaded images to the CDN and stores them on the DADI network?

James Lambie:
Yes, to all of the above!

🔗Question 22

Using a Raspberry Pi as host with 50GB hdd, how’s DADI Store dapp going work as the user files have to stored on the nodes?

James Lambie:
Nodes require storage space for the running of existing dApps as well as Store. They have a default storage limit which can be configured by node owners. As an example, perhaps you configure it to allow 10GB to be used by the dApps.

🔗Question 23

Google provides limited 15gb of free cloud space. Will DADI provide anything free like that?

Joseph Denne:
Yes, there will be a free tier. How much space this provides is TBC.

🔗Question 24

There are a lot of people who are talking about how imperfect JavaScript is and I understand that in many ways this is true. But seeing you guys building this amazing technology with it I can’t help but say to myself: JavaScript is imperfect, but obviously very useful. Could you tell me your honest opinion on where the language stands right now? Is it suitable for a beginner developer like me to start with, keeping in mind that I do not want to only learn one language. What is the next most valuable language I should now learn to build on blockchain?

Joseph Denne:
Nothing is perfect. What I like about JavaScript is how few barriers it puts up to use: it’s so successful because it is so easy to get in to. Of course, mastery is another thing entirely, but ease of starting is the key reason that JavaScript is the most popular language in the world. So yes, learn JavaScript!

We’re also using Golang heavily in the network, which is a very powerful and performant stack. I’d also recommend looking at Python: it’s the leading language in AI and big data right now.

James Lambie:
I’d say JavaScript is a good item in any developer’s toolbox! It’s ubiquitous (being able to write a piece of code that runs both on your server and on any web browser is pretty unique), it’s powerful and (in our opinion) very pleasant to write and read (once you ditch the semicolons ;)). It has a huge community and an immense package distribution system, which makes building an application from scratch really straightforward. In saying that, we’re not married to it and our motto is to always use the best tool for the job.

🔗Question 25

Do you guys have a specific roadmap in place for DADI Store? I can imagine that the Store will be used in the DADI network at some time. Would it be correct if I am assuming that it will have similar features as AWS S3 buckets? More precise that the file bucket can become a hosted website?

James Lambie:
Correct, Store will be used as a backing service in several of the dApps that will be running in the network. The user-facing side of Store will definitely have similar features to S3 buckets or even Dropbox. It is certainly possible that we’ll get to a point where a DADI Web build could be hosted via Store, and in time, non-DADI applications.

🔗Question 26

DADI Publish presents following idea: “Manage documents across multiple APIs.” Could you illustrate the idea with a real world example (use-case) with John or Mildred in the main role (you choose which)?

James Lambie:
I think I’ll go with John, I know at least one of those. He is a serial entrepreneur and has a number of e-commerce properties, with an API setup for each. DADI Publish can provide an interface that allows him to manage content across all of them in a seamless experience.

🔗Question 27

Should non-technical participants of the lottery need to be concerned about the technical aspects of installing a node?

James Lambie:
We’re aiming to make the onboarding process as simple as possible. We all have non-technical people in our lives, so ensuring that anyone and everyone can get involved is a big focus for us.

🔗Question 28

Are you aiming for a wide distribution with the node lottery? So that there are, for example, at least 10 nodes in Europe and 10 in North America?

Joseph Denne:
Yes, that’s correct. We need a strong geographical spread. We have backbone nodes set up in 20 locations already, giving us good coverage of our every markets (Amsterdam, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Mumbai, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington DC). The distribution for the lottery will follow this spread, but on a wider geographic basis (i.e. not tied to individual cities).

🔗Question 29

Will the code running on hosts be available with the lottery winner’s announcement?

Joseph Denne:
We are keeping our network source code closed source for the time being as there’s far too much commercially sensitive IP in there. We do intend to Open Source it all in time (and our dApps already all), but this will only happen once we have completed our international trademark and patent applications.

🔗Question 30

What is the current state of Stargate/Gateway/Host development?

James Lambie:
Production ready.

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